House of Commons Hansard #8 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was servants.

Topics

Prince Edward Island Marathon
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise in the House today to share news of the BMO Nesbitt Burns Prince Edward Island marathon which will be taking place this weekend on Prince Edward Island.

With a whole host of events planned around the full marathon, including the half-marathon, a kids' run, and my personal favourite, the kilted run, the festivities will promote the importance of physical activity and healthy living.

With over 650 runners from all across Canada and the United States expected at this weekend's event, the Prince Edward Island marathon promises to be a resounding success. It will once again showcase our beautiful province as an ideal location for conferences and events from all over the world.

I ask all members to join me in offering my congratulations to the organizers of the Prince Edward Island marathon and in wishing good luck to the runners this weekend.

Fisheries
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

John Cummins Delta—Richmond East, BC

Mr. Speaker, this summer two million sockeye disappeared from the Fraser River between Mission and the spawning grounds. This year's escapement is the lowest on record, lower even than the escapement after the infamous rock slide at Hell's Gate blocked the Fraser Canyon in 1914.

This is the third such disaster in the last 12 years. In both 1992 and 1994 the government blamed warm water temperatures and technical difficulties for the failure. Independent inquiries rejected the government's excuses and pointed their finger directly at policy failures, inept management and lax or non-existent enforcement. They laid the blame directly on DFO and its failure to protect fish from large scale poaching.

Without the ability to subpoena witnesses and take testimony under oath, investigators were unable to identify the bureaucrats responsible. A judicial inquiry into this disaster is essential to the survival of B.C. salmon.

Hurricane Hazel
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Alan Tonks York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commemorate an important event in the history of Toronto.

From 7 a.m. on October 14 to midnight on October 15, 1954, Canada's most devastating hurricane struck southern Ontario. Hurricane Hazel swept through Toronto at 110 kilometres per hour with 200 millimetres of rain in a 24 hour period. Bridges and streets were washed out and thousands were left homeless, with trailers and houses washing into Lake Ontario.

In total, 81 people were killed, 32 in the riding I represent.

On October 16, 2004, York South—Weston will be commemorating the event with a memorial following a walk organized by the Weston Historical Society. Attending will be political officials, firefighters, police, EMS and residents who survived the hurricane.

I invite the House to join me in honouring those emergency workers and ordinary citizens who served their communities so courageously during that deadly storm and remember those who lost their lives.

150th Anniversary of L'Épiphanie
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Saturday, October 9, I had the great pleasure of attending a period fancy dress ball to mark the 150th anniversary of the towns and parishes of L'Épiphanie. Some 200 people, dressed in their finest attire, made a room already magnificently decorated all the more stunning. This wonderful evening was the result of the hard work and creative imagination of an extraordinary team of volunteers under the direction of Donald Bricault.

This period ball ended an exceptional year of extremely successful events. We have to applaud the remarkable effort of the 150th anniversary committee and especially thank its president, Daniel Archambault.

On behalf of the community, I would like to thank all the volunteers for their involvement and dedication. You met the challenge; congratulations.

Chicoutimi

Hmcs
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, the tragedy that struck the crew of HMCS Chicoutimi and the family and friends of Lieutenant Chris Saunders in particular, has touched everyone in this country.

As chair of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, I wish to salute the courage and devotion of the crew members of HMCS Chicoutimi and assure them of my complete support and my profound gratitude for their exemplary services on behalf of all Canadians.

They are an inspiration to all of us to give the best we have in the service of our country. This House echoes all the expressions of appreciation and sympathy that have already been heard across Canada.

I also want to thank the crew members from the British Royal Navy and the United States navy who took part in the rescue and towing of HMCS Chicoutimi , and everyone at the Sligo hospital in Ireland. Their solidarity undoubtedly was of comfort to our submariners and their families. Their actions are a true sign of friendship.

Agriculture
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Myron Thompson Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pride that I would like to pay tribute to two gentlemen from my riding, Alex Baum and Dan Kroffat of Cochrane. These gentlemen presented a petition to me this morning containing over 115,000 signatures calling for the reopening of the U.S. border to live Canadian cattle.

The open border petition began on August 11 when Alex and Dan decided to challenge the government to make the border closure top priority.

The response to the petition was overwhelming, with 10% of the signatures coming from Quebec and 15% from Ontario. The petition also received signatures from hundreds of grassroots American farmers and ranchers. They wanted to show their solidarity with their Canadian counterparts who are suffering greatly.

These two businessmen deserve all the credit, not only for taking on the petition but taking the time to fly to Ottawa to urge politicians from all parties to work hard to get the border open.

Their dedication to this cause should inspire all of us to rally behind our farmers and keep the pressure on the American government until the issue is resolved.

Housing
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Bramalea—Gore—Malton, ON

Mr. Speaker, helping families out of poverty is difficult. Parents are better prepared to provide for their children if they are able to find a safe and affordable place to live.

In most communities, full time, year-round minimum wage workers cannot afford to pay fair market rent or even find a place that they can afford. Several cities in Canada, including my riding of Bramalea--Gore--Malton, are experiencing a major shortage of affordable housing.

To meet the demand for affordable housing, I invite all my colleagues to join me in supporting innovative solutions that would help the elderly, the disabled and low income working families find affordable housing.

Natural Resources
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, negotiations between the Great Lakes states, Ontario and Quebec have resulted in the release of the Great Lakes water diversion annex.

The ultimate effect of the annex will be to allow U.S. states to unilaterally divert water from the Great Lakes without a veto by the provinces. The annex has been met with a great deal of concern and opposition by municipalities, Canadian sovereignists, environmentalists and first nations people.

The International Joint Commission has warned against any further water diversion from our Great Lakes. If this annex is ratified, the impact on the Great Lakes basin and the St. Lawrence River will be enormous, especially in light of global warming.

In spite of these concerns and outright opposition we have not heard from the federal government at all on this important issue of national sovereignty. We call upon it today to stand up for Canadians and say no more water diversions from the Great Lakes.

Trade
Statements By Members

October 14th, 2004 / 2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Belinda Stronach Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, while the Minister of International Trade was in Vancouver yesterday admitting that “Canadians are missing out on opportunities” in emerging foreign markets, a global competitiveness report released by the World Economic Forum showed that Canada dropped from 12th to 15th place in its annual ranking of global business performance.

This continues the downward spiral which began after 1998 when Canada placed sixth. Under the Liberals' watch, Canadian exports are down, border problems continue to drive up costs, and drive away investment in Canada.

Just last week the Conference Board of Canada classified our productivity performance among the entire OECD as mediocre. It is the role of government to provide the right economic environment for our tax structures by supporting education, and research and development, so that Canadian businesses and entrepreneurs can compete in this fierce global marketplace.

The Liberals need to understand that trade is not about abstract numbers but rather about quality of life. Trade is our lifeblood. The issue of competitiveness will determine the future prosperity of Canada.

Children of Beslan
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, today in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, thousands of children from the Hautes-Rivières school board, along with their parents and teachers, marched in memory of the children of Beslan, Russia.

The Russian Vice-Consul, Mr. Valery Erofeev, and the head of Russian Humanitarian House, Ms. Lidia Porotnikova, spoke during the event. The massive turnout sent a clear message that such a drama should never have happened in our world.

By taking a stand and turning out in such large numbers today, our children give us hope that there will be a better, more egalitarian world, a world where human values triumph over barbaric acts, a world where disputes and quarrels are settled by mediation, conciliation and diplomacy, and not by bombs and weapons.

The children of Beslan must not have died in vain. We must expend all our energy to make sure such a tragedy never happens again. We send our love to the children of Beslan and their sorrowing parents.

Eugene Harasymiw
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Goldring Edmonton East, AB

Mr. Speaker, Eugene Harasymiw, husband to Natalie and father of sons Adrian and Andriy, passed away on October 2 in Edmonton at the age of 63. He was a devoted family man and a steadfast proponent of civil rights and liberties.

Eugene championed the politically challenged, such as Wasyl Odynsky, in a struggle for the rights of all Canadians to a fair trial in Canada and to counter a Liberal government which, behind closed cabinet doors, would strip a person of Canadian citizenship without due process.

Eugene was one of the principals responsible for a monument of great significance at Edmonton's Ukrainian Cultural Village, a monument that serves as witness and testament for the injustice of the internment of Ukrainians in Canada during World War I.

Eugene was past president of the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association. He was a man who truly fulfilled life's duties to his family and to his country. Vechnaya pamyat Eugene, eternal memory.

Film Industry
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, Winnipeg is home to many talented young filmmakers, musicians and artists who have chosen to remain in Winnipeg and pursue their crafts. One such Winnipeg based filmmaker is Noam Gonick, and I stand today to recognize the many achievements of this innovative and creative filmmaker.

Mr. Gonick's work in film, publishing and broadcasting has challenged conventional boundaries. His first feature, Hey, Happy! , premiered at the 2001 Sundance film festival and was a critical success when released worldwide.

I particularly wish to congratulate Noam on his most recent film, Stryker , about young people in gangs in Winnipeg. This past September, Stryker premiered at the prestigious Venice international film festival, one of the two Canadian feature films selected to screen and the only Canadian drama.

Young, creative filmmakers are the future of Canadian film. On behalf of all Canadians, I congratulate Noam Gonick on his successes.

Chrysotile Asbestos
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Marc Boulianne Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, first, I would like to thank the people of Mégantic—L'Érable for their confidence in me.

Since September, chrysotile asbestos has regained its reputation at the international level. By refusing to put chrysotile on the list of dangerous goods drafted by the parties to the Rotterdam convention, Canada has, at last, acted on the request of the Bloc Québécois. It officially recognized the safe and increased use of chrysotile fibre, as did the Quebec national government in 2002, and also the International Labour Organization.

This is a victory for Quebec's pro-chrysotile movement and for our regional economy. The communities of Thetford Mines and Asbestos are elated to see that their efforts have paid off.

Canada must now develop a true policy on the use of chrysotile, one that will be consistent with its position in Geneva, on September 18, 2004.

Government Surplus
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Bev Desjarlais Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister is bragging about a surplus gained from the hardship and struggle of Canadians. He brags about being out $7 billion on the government's budget. Now he is to pay down more of the debt at the expense of ordinary Canadians.

What about the government's other debts? What about the promised compensation to residential school and hepatitis C victims? It is time the government paid those debts before it is too late.

There was $1.7 billion allocated to residential school claimants. Of some 200 victims going before the adjudicator, only three have been given a hearing, this after filling out a 37 page application.

The health minister announced that a select group of hepatitis C victims might be getting compensation previously withheld from them. This compensation is not new money, just unspent, because once again the Liberals' scam compensation package was both out of reach and did not apply to many claimants.

The Liberal government continues to spend more and more money paying lawyers to prevent victims from gaining restitution. This is reprehensible. The government should follow through on its promised compensation before there are no claimants left, unless of course that was its plan after all.

Rodent Importation
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Parrish Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise to protest the incredible waste of taxpayers' dollars and the harassment of a law abiding constituent.

In a nutshell, Steve Patterson, a naturalist, a teacher, and an honest man, diligently did his research and legally imported six week old Sabrina, the American flying squirrel.

Since June our government bureaucrats have harassed him, have taken him to court, and have practically bankrupted him. Steve and Sabrina won their day in Federal Court. The judge, soundly condemning the Canada Food Inspection Agency, ruled it was doubtful the government had ever shown that a serious issue existed.

That should have been the end, but it is not. The government is appealing, using unlimited resources in fear of a floodgate of 90 gram squirrels. The cost? Up to $200,000 for my constituent. The solution? Drop the case, save us money, and allow Sabrina to get her Canadian citizenship.

Flying squirrels enter Canada over the border and through treetops every night. This is one little squirrel that escaped the bush, and which we can afford to keep.